Dyslexia and Development presents the latest findings of neurobiological research, which suggest a link between seemingly minor brain abnormalities and epilepsy, learning disorders, and autism. The authors focus on the plasticity of the developing nervous system and the possible role of subtle early brain injury in the emergence of these disorders, particularly dyslexia.
The distinguished contributors to this volume examine epidemiological and clinical issues that may make the developing brain more vulnerable to environmental and genetic influences, which can in turn lead to abnormal brain plasticity and behavior. Although major forms of brain malformation have been clearly associated with functional deficits, mild forms have historically been ignored or trivialized; this book supports the hypothesis that several types of such malformation reflect brain injury during critical stages of development, and also the premise that more and more disturbances of thought and behavior stem from abnormalities of brain organization.
Neurologists and neurobiologists, psychologists, psycholinguists, psychiatrists, and special educators will find here a guide to more enlightened understanding and more effective treatment of dyslexia. In fact, the book emphasizes the positive aspect of the neurobiological deviation that dyslexic brains seem to show, along with the observation that people with such brains are often quite creative and extraordinary, rather than handicapped. In turn, the revised consideration of dyslexia should lead to more serious attention to other disturbances of childhood behavior as problems in developmental neurology, as well as to a deeper analysis of possible neurological bases for individual differences in normal behavior and personality.